LEESBURG, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - An Oklahoma man faces felony and misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty, after authorities said a dog in his care drowned.
Jose Dennys Luque, 44, fitted his German shepherd with diving weights, before having the dog go fetch a ball off a boat ramp at Venetian Gardens Park in Leesburg, Florida, according to an arrest affidavit.
Witnesses told police officers that the dog made crying sounds before disappearing under the water, which was roughly seven to 10 feet deep. Luque and three others jumped into the water, one witness told officers, but when the dog wasn't located after five minutes of searching, Luque left.
The body of the dog was eventually located by the Leesburg Fire Department and a volunteer, and investigators said a diving belt was attached to a harness that was worn by the dog. The weight of the belt was approximately 13 pounds, the arrest report states.
About two hours later, officers found Luque in another area of the park, in a Toyota van. He told officers that, "he was in shock and left the area to go the store and purchase items to retrieve the dog later."